The Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Canon brings a host of improvements to the long-awaited successor to the game-changing 7D DSLR. The APS-C sensor DSLR has already been popular in the underwater imaging community for many reasons. First, for macro, the APS-C yields more "reach" with a given macro lens, and more choices; in particular the Canon EF-S 60mm macro which does not work on Canon's full frame cameras. For fisheye wide angle lenses, APS-C again offers advantages, specifically two of the best and most versatile wide angle lenses available for use underwater. The Tokina 10-17mm is a favorite among underwater photographers, and for good reason. When used on an APS-C camera, this a super-wide 180º fisheye at 10mm, but when zoomed to 17mm the fisheye distortion is greatly reduced and the lens becomes excellent for close-focus-wide-angle or more distant subjects with a 110º fov. The Canon 8-15, used with it's APS-C range of 10-15mm, is very similar in it's versatility and produces even sharper images with less aberration. For APS-C, Canon offers the much less expensive 10-22mm and 10-18mm lenses. When these are used with a large dome like the Nauticam 8.5" acrylic dome or the Nauticam 230mm glass dome it is considerably easier to get sharp images, especially in the corners.
In addition to just being an updated platform for APS-C Lenses, the 7D Mark II also sport several other exciting updates. The sensor is a 20.2MP CMOS with Dual-Pixel AF which means it can track focus in live-view mode. Additionally it can now shoot at a rapid 10fps in continuous high shooting mode. ISO sensitivity has also been upgraded with a new range of 100-16,500.
The autofocus on the 7D Mark II gains 65 all cross-type focus points that works together with the 150,000 pixel RGB + IR metering sensor to give the latest version of Canon's Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) focus system from the 1DX pro-body DSLR.
Dual Digic6 processors ensure faster image processing along with a combination of one Compact Flash and one SD card slot.
Canon 7D Mark II Key Specifications:
- 20MP Dual-Pixel AF CMOS Sensor
- 10 fps continuous shooting with autofocus
- 65 all cross-type autofocus sensor
- 150,000 RGB + IR pixel metering sensor
- Dual Digic 6 processors
- Enhanced environmental sealing
- Compact Flash (UDMA) and SD (UHS-I) slots
The NA-7DMKII Housing
It Is clearly true that the NA-7DMKII is an improvement over the original NA-7D housing, but Nauticam has come so astonishingly far in the last 5 years that this really is not a useful comparison. The NA-7D was an important housing for Nauticam (see the sidebar about that), but Nauticam SLR housings have advanced considerably. Take for example the housing latches. The NA-7D was the last Nauticam housing to use the "old school" stainless steel buckle style latches. The NA-7DMKII takes advantage of the simple yet secure locking latches that have since become famous. These latches are more secure, effortless to close, and eliminate the knuckle busting snap of the old buckles. The NA-7DMKII represents the ideal example of current Nauticam housing design.
Nauticam's patented Port Locking Lever is as simple to operate as ever, enabling easy port changes without twisting or excessive force. A vacuum reset button inside the port mount also allows the vacuum system to be quickly reset from the port mount making quick lens changes a snap. These touches further reduce the stress of proper gear preparation and allow more time for diving.
Added to these now standard features are ergonomic refinements that further enhance the imaging experience for both still photo and motion imaging enthusiasts. A new dual function lever under the right handle brings ISO and M Fn (used for AF area pattern) out to the fingertips of the user. Nauticam's signature multi selector pad, found on the Nikon line and NA-70D, provides easy access to all 65 focus points and the ability to move on the diagonals without stair stepping. All of the core functions needed to operate the camera are at the users fingertips, and available by feel.
The NA-7DMKII is the most refined Nauticam SLR housing to date. Every camera function is made easier by careful thought and design, aided by input from photographers who will actually use this camera. The housing borrows the best from recent housings like the NA-D810 and the NA-5DMKIII, and incorporates new enhancements to key exposure controls for both video and still photo users.
New to the Nauticam housings for Canon SLR's, the NA-7DMKII will feature a lever to activate or deactivate the camera's popup flash. While this task can be accomplished in the Canon menus, it is easier and faster to disable or enable flash with this lever.
Precision requires vision: A high resolution camera like the Canon 7D MkII demands perfect focus for optimal results. Fortunately, Nauticam has developed the most user-friendly interchangeable viewfinders available.
The standard optical glass viewfinder is very good and travel friendly, but many photographers prefer the ease of a magnified viewfinder with adjustable diopter. Nauticam produces a "straight" 180º enlarging viewfinder and a 45º angled enlarging viewfinder to enhance the ease of close quarters work often associated with macro shooting. Both viewfinders have high quality optics, and allow bright viewing of the entire image. A patented external dioptric adjustment allows personal adjustment to a sharp-as-a-tack standard underwater and viewfinder changes can be executed in less than 30 seconds without using tools. Exceptional composition and focus accuracy have never been more accessible.
Integrated Vacuum Check and Leak Detection System
The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is available with NA-7DMKII as standard equipment.
Combined with an optional vacuum valve, this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe to dive status of the housing. A simple coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur. The NA-7DMKII ships with a 3rd bulkhead port specifically for installing optional vacuum valves, leaving the user two other bulkhead ports for HDMI, sync cables and other accessories.
Patented Port Locking System
Unveiled on the very first Nauticam DSLR housing in 2009, this locking lever has become a signature of the Nauticam brand. No twisting or threading action is required to mount a port, and it locks securely in place with this lever. Nauticam also offers locking port extensions, meaning a dome will never twist, even when used with a long extension ring.
Housing Locking Latches
The industry's easiest to use housing closure system, requiring very little hand strength to operate, secures the housing back in place. The latches are safely locked to prevent accidental opening, but are easy to open when needed for a quick battery or memory card change.
Multi-Controller Pad & Piano Key
Located within easy reach of the right thumb, ergonomically operates the 7DMKII Multi-controller joystick. Full directional control is available for fast focus point or menu selection. A new focus area button allows easy access to the focus area pattern.
The piano key brings the SET function out to the housing handle for quick changes.
Ergonomic Rubberized Handles
Another legendary Nauticam feature, these rubberized grips have been used every Nauticam DSLR housing release, and are some of the most comfortable in the business. The zoom / focus control knob also features this same soft touch rubber coating for improved tactile feel.
Vacuum System Reset Button
A blue button integrated in the camera mounting tray, accessible from the port mount, allows vacuum monitoring electronics to be reset when changing lenses from the front of the housing.
The right hand grip features a cluster of key camera controls, all placed ergonomically for fingertip access.
Shutter Release, AF-On, Video Record, Main Dial, Quick Control Dial, and ISO are all conveniently located on the right hand side of the housing, and easily accessed from the handle.
Stainless Steel Handle Brackets
Stiffening handle brackets are included with the housing. These brackets eliminate any flex or wobble when using big strobes, and provide multiple attachment points for lanyards or other accessories.
Double Thumb Levers
Oversized double thumb levers, easily reached from the housing grips, and operational while wearing cold water gloves are a nauticam signature.
These levers access AF-On, Video Rec/Live View, Zoom, and Playback